Democrats outspend GOP in a big way leading up to elections

House Speaker Chris Welch reported raising a whopping $14 million in the third quarter, with almost half of that, $6 million, coming from Gov. JB Pritzker. That gives Welch a huge cash advantage for the home stretch over his Republican counterpart.

Welch’s personal campaign committee reported raising $7 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 and reported having $11.6 million cash on hand at the end.

Welch’s caucus committee, Democrats for the Illinois House, also reported raising $7 million in the same time period, with $6 million of that coming from Gov. Pritzker. The committee ended the quarter with about $5.8 million in the bank after spending $6.4 million.

From the start of October through Oct. 21, Welch reported raising another $1.5 million for his personal committee and about $500,000 for his caucus committee, giving him a total of $19.4 million to spend in the final five weeks or so of the campaign if he cleans out the accounts. Welch earlier transferred close to $10 million from his personal committee to his caucus committee. So, his available cash for the final push is likely up to $16 million, but could be more if the need arises.

Senate President Don Harmon reported raising $4.9 million during the third quarter for his personal committee and ended with $13 million in the bank. Harmon’s caucus committee, ISDF, raised about $9 million, with $7 million of that coming from Harmon’s personal committee and another $1 million from Pritzker. It ended the quarter with $4 million after transferring out $4.5 million to members and spending $1.9 million on polling, media production, etc. plus some overhead.

Harmon has reported raising another $1.8 million Oct. 1-21 for his personal committee and $6.1 million for his caucus committee, with $1 million from Pritzker and $5 million transferred from Harmon’s personal committee. So, he’s sitting on a total of $19.9 million, plus another million or so in his other accounts.

As expected, Republican fundraising could not even come close to keeping pace with the Democrats. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s personal committee reported raising $820,000 in the third quarter, just 12% of Welch’s haul. Durkin ended the quarter with $319,000, after spending $1.8 million, including sending $300,000 to his caucus committee, House Republican Majority. He’s since reported raising $1.4 million through Oct. 21.

House Republican Majority reported raising about $1.4 million in the third quarter, plus Durkin’s $300,000. It spent $1.6 million and ended the quarter with $220,000. It has since reported raising $1.6 million through Oct. 21, but $850,000 of that came from Durkin’s personal committee.

All told, that left Durkin with about $2.5 million to spend in the final five weeks – about 16% of Welch’s grand total.

Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie reported raising $2.7 million in the third quarter, with about $2.2 million of that coming from Richard Uihlein. He reported spending $3.1 million, with $2.9 million going to his caucus committee, Senate Republican Victory Fund. He ended the third quarter with $1.2 million cash on hand and has since reported raising $870,000.

The Senate Republican Victory Fund reported raising about $400,000 in the quarter, plus the $2.9 million transferred in by Leader McConchie. It spent $3.3 million, and ended the quarter with $296,000. It has since reported raising $1.3 million, with $1 million of that coming from McConchie’s personal campaign.

Total it up, and it appears that McConchie has about $2.6 million to spend on the final five weeks – about 12% of what Senate President Harmon has. Legislative caucuses, the governor and other candidates all qualify for a major postage discount by using their respective state parties to handle their mailing operations. So, looking at party spending gives us an idea of what’s happening on the mailer front.

After shedding leadership that couldn’t legally raise or spend state campaign funds, the Democratic Party of Illinois reported bringing in $8.3 million in the third quarter and ended with $5.8 million. It has since reported bringing in $4.3 million, giving it $10.1 million in available mailer spending during the final weeks.

The Illinois Republican Party raised $2.2 million, spent $1.5 million and ended with $1.1 million cash on hand. The ILGOP has since reported bringing in $3 million, giving it $4.1 million for the home stretch – much less than half what DPI had.

The Democrats have zero excuses for failure.

About The Author

Rich Miller

Rich Miller publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

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